Tuesday, May 24, 2011


David is going to Iraq. He is leaving June 19th. We just found out the date yesterday, but we have known for a few weeks that it was coming. We were just waiting. We have been waiting for this for so long. So long in fact, that I started to think it was never going to actually happen, so I stopped thinking about it. It was an idea that sounded like such financial relief, so long ago, and has been dangling in front of us like a carrot, but as more time passed, and weeks turned into months, I just put it out of my head. But here it is, the help we need, wrapped up and placed right before us, but at the cost of my best friend being away from me for so long. My girls are heartbroken. They hear the words, that Daddy will be gone for 6 months, but they are not really understanding it. Neither am I.

Charlotte asked me who will take the deck furniture in after the summer is over. Olivia wanted to know how we will get our Christmas tree off of the car roof, and into the house in December. I keep thinking about the sump pump in the basement. Every time it gets stuck, which is usually at night, David gets out of bed, and walks in the dark, to the side of the house, and goes down into the crawl space, and unsticks it. What if I have to do that?

What about when the baby messes around with the remote? She renders it useless. We always wait for David to come home, and he presses all of these buttons, and we are back in business. And then there is our outdoor fires at night. We like to grill and after dinner, we make a fire in our outdoor fireplace. David is always in charge of the fire. Come to think of it, he is always in charge of the grill. I don't even know how to turn it on. I am always afraid it is going to explode, so I steer clear of it. Maybe I should just get myself a little charcoal grill, and stay away from the gas one altogether.

David takes the garbage out every Monday morning. And he lets the dog out at the crack of dawn. He makes coffee perfectly. Mine is always too watery. I think I lose count while scooping. But his coffee is always yummy. And then there is the night cleanup. He always loads the dishwasher in the most efficient manner. Everything from biggest to smallest, rinsed, and organized perfectly. I tend to just chuck it all in, and if I can shut the door, I consider it one task done.

And then there is simply our love of him. How my girls, as well as me, and even the baby at this point, know the sound of the old Honda coming up the block. And how each of us always stops what we are doing, because it is always great when he comes home. The girls go crazy. And I feel relief that we are all safe, under one roof again. The electricity in the house changes. I am less tense, and we all chatter over one another to tell him all about our days. It is beautiful to see how pure and easy love is. It is a gift to be part of it.

David and I have assumed roles as parents. I am the tough one. I am all business. I am the yeller. I am the one that says no, and casts threatening glances. David is the loving, fun, laughing parent, who undermines me to the point of us fighting about it, but I let him get away with it. The girls need it. They need my rules, and they crave David's freedom. We all are pieces of a puzzle. We all need each other. Without one intricate piece, the picture is incomplete.

I don't know how I can be everything to the girls, while David is gone. I am thankful for this opportunity to change our lives. I am thankful that we will be able to save our sinking ship. But the Middle East is so far away. And so dangerous. I am afraid. More afraid than I have ever been.

I noticed this morning that the house finches are back, and making a nest somewhere around our house. They work together, as a pair, making the home that their babies will soon be born in. They keep taking bits of wisteria vine, from around our deck. They are always side by side. 

 Soon, they will be tending to their young. Together.

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